With Opposition parties rather quiet, ELD unveils their efforts to improve election processes

As if things weren’t already exciting enough with the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) candidate presentations,the Elections Department (ELD) today (20 Aug) announced enhancements to election processes.

ELD press release

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In a press release, ELD says the changes are part of their

“ongoing efforts to update and enhance election processes”.

We take a look at some of the changes.

1. Increase in Parliamentary Election expenses limit

The maximum amount that each candidate can spend for each voter has been increased to $4.00 from $3.50. ELD said that this was to account for inflation.

cost ceiling

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The purpose of an expense ceiling is to ensure that there is a level playing field, with ELD adding that

spending in excess of the amount in the law is an illegal practice

2. Maximum number of posters and banners in Electoral Divisions

election poster

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ELD has updated limits on the number of posters and banners that candidates are allowed to put up in their electoral divisions.

They have very kindly published the formula for the new changes in their website for the benefit of candidates.

The maximum number of posters and banners allowed is:

• 1 poster to every 50 electors in the register (rounded to nearest 100), subject to minimum of:

– 500 per SMC,

– 2,000 per 4-MP GRC,

– 2,500 per 5-MP GRC, or

– 3,000 per 6-MP GRC.

• 1 banner to every 5,000 electors in the register (rounded to whole number), subject to minimum of:

– 5 per SMC,

– 20 per 4-MP GRC,

– 25 per 5-MP GRC, or

– 30 per 6-MP GRC.

3. Closer placement for display of posters and banners

ELD has reduced the radius between the display of posters and banners, allowing promotional material to be placed nearer to polling stations.

The new 50 metre requirement is a drastic drop from the previous 200 metre prohibition zone. ELD’s justification for this change is the limited display areas candidates now have in built-up residential areas.

4. Candidates’ photos to be included on ballot paper

To prevent situations like this :

cant read

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ELD has also announced that ballot papers will now include the photos of candidates, much like they were during the 2011 Presidential Election. This will mean that the ballot papers will be larger than previously.

Additionally, ELD said that there would be format changes to the ballot paper. This was to prevent voters from marking across boxes which would result in a spoilt vote.

ballot paper

Source

5. Appointment of Malay Community Committee (MCC) and Indian & Other Minority Communities Committee (IOMCC)

Lastly, the members of the MCC and IOMCC were announced.

Each Group Representation Constituency (GRC) must have at least 1 candidate who belongs to either the Malay or Indian and other minority community. The candidate must apply to the relevant committee who will issue certificates.

The relevant candidate is required to produce the certificate on Nomination Day.

Will ELD’s announcements trigger Opposition movement?

With ELD’s changes being officially unveiled, parties will be able to spend more. In the coming days, we could see some increased spending by political parties in a bid to boost their image among voters.

The new changes could also pave the way for opposition parties who may have been waiting for announcements from the ELD for the upcoming general elections. All we have to do now is wait and see what happens.

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Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons
With references from Elections Department